13 Mar 2012

On a wing and a prayer

Playful, mischievous and highly intelligent, Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos are adored by thousands, hunted by many and saved by few. Endemic to the south-west region of Western Australia, only a small pocket of these large, gregarious birds remain and these are permanently under threat.

Some are still being poached and smuggled for private collections. Many are illegally shot. Together with land clearing, loss of native food habitat and injury from man-made structures, the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo is plummeting towards extinction.

If you haven't watched the documentary tonight on ABC1 please check it out on iView! It's beautiful to see how those birds try to survive in less space and how they grow up.

And check out the website On a wing and a prayer or the website Cockatoos Need You
Photo: Margaret Owen

Cocky carnage
FIVE years ago, black cockatoos were so common that Baldivis resident Anne Bellman saw the sky darken every evening as hundreds of them came to roost in trees on her property.

Now she’s lucky to see a group of 20, after hundreds were displaced in 2009 and 2010 when the Karnup Road and Eighty Road pine plantations were cut down.

Results of the 2011 Great Cocky Count, which were released this week, paint an even more dire picture.

Statewide survey figures indicate a 37 per cent drop in the number of Carnaby’s black cockatoos.

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